Routine and regularly scheduled dental visits are important to maintain great oral health, and you should visit your dentist at least twice a year. Not only do regular dental exams and cleanings keep your smile beautiful, but they’re also essential for detecting dental diseases and oral cancer. By having frequent dental exams, you protect the overall health of your body as your dentists look for and treat potential oral issues.
Regular dental visit procedure
A routine dental visit involves an oral checkup and teeth cleaning. During the checkup, your dental professional checks your teeth for plaque, tartar, and cavities that can lead to more serious oral diseases. The dental professional also checks your gums and measure gum pocket depth as an early detection method for gum disease. Following the checkup, the dental professional then removes tartar and scaling with a cleaning procedure called scaling. After scaling, the hygienist polishes your teeth with fine grit paste that helps remove surface stains and give your teeth a healthy shine. The last step is flossing to clean the areas between your teeth and remove any residual polishing paste.
Exploring the dental exam further
While you know that your hygienist and dentist are looking for potential oral issues, you may not understand exactly what these routine exams can detect early and prevent.
- Preventing root canals – Sometimes you can have cavities without even knowing because you don’t feel pain. Left undetected and untreated, cavities can lead to serious tooth decay that may require a treatment such as a root canal for repair. Early detection of decay and treatment of cavities with fillings can prevent root canals and other more involved dental procedures.
- Detecting oral cancer – Oral cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer and statistics show that only 50% of those with oral cancer survive for over five years following their diagnosis. Those statistics make it extremely important to catch oral cancer early and visiting your dentist regularly is an important key to detection. During a normal check-up, your dental professional should examine your tongue, face, throat, neck and head to look for swelling, trouble signs, and cancer. Your dentist can detect any unusual growths that you’re otherwise unaware of, and this helps diagnose and treat oral cancer promptly. Quitting tobacco use and not consuming alcohol can help lower your risk of oral cancer and if you notice any growths that lack sensation, seek oral cancer screening immediately.
- Avoiding gum disease – With regular dental exams and cleanings every 6-12 months, you can avoid and prevent gum disease that can lead to involved dental treatments and tooth loss. Along with avoiding gum disease, you can also discuss your oral hygiene habits with your dental professional and address any areas that require more attention.
There are numerous dental issues you can prevent and treat with regular dental visits that include a checkup and cleaning. Contact our offices today to schedule your appointment and protect your beautiful smile.